Grimaldi co-founder defects to Italian rival Gianni

Grimaldi e Associati co-founder Roberto Cappelli has quit the firm to join Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners with a team of 10 associates.

Gianni Origoni announced that its partners approved Cappelli’s hire at a partners’ meeting yesterday (7 November). Partners also voted unanimously to change the firm’s name to add Cappelli as a name partner, meaning Gianni Origoni will be known as Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners from 1 December.

Cappelli has managed Grimaldi’s corporate team since 1993, leading it during the firm’s association with Clifford Chance and following the 2003 split with the magic circle firm.

He said Gianni Origoni would provide a larger and more international base for his practice.

“I see this as an excellent manner of putting together international openings and the power of a large organisation together with an independent Italian approach that’s probably more suitable for Italian clients,” Cappelli told The Lawyer. “My principal aim is to be able to offer them a wider base of service in a more efficient manner.”

The new team will be based in Gianni Origoni’s Milan and Rome offices.

The appointment of Cappelli is one of the most significant moves in the Italian legal market for some time and is the first lateral hire for Gianni Origoni since it pounced on Simmons & Simmons’ Padua office for three partners last year (14 June 2010).

Gianni Origoni senior partner Francesco Gianni said Cappelli’s arrival would significantly boost the firm’s profile both in corporate finance and more generally.